‘No blackouts until June’

Eskom says there is little risk of scheduled blackouts until June.

“Eskom has stabilised and we don’t [expect] load-shedding for the rest of the summer and winter,” CEO Brian Molefe said yesterday.

The power-supply system was plagued by rolling blackouts in the first half of last year, curbing mining and manufacturing, both also knocked by strikes that limited 2014 growth to its slowest since 2009.

There have been rolling blackouts only once in the past six months.

Eskom has performed maintenance on its ageing fleet. The cash-strapped power utility has struggled to meet demands after decades of underinvestment and multi-year delays in completing new power stations.

About 5620MW of capacity from new plants will be online by March 2020, Molefe said. The utility is building two coal-fired stations, which will jointly add about 9500MW to the grid, and the 1332MW Ingula pumped storage unit.

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